When Joyce wasn’t running her art gallery she was taking care of Buffy. They had a pretty close relationship, but like most moms, she wasn’t a fan of Buffy’s teenage attitude and drama, or her bad grades. But, Joyce didn’t know that Buffy was a Slayer, had she known earlier on then a lot of Buffy’s issues would have made sense.
Joyce was a very protective and caring parent for our favorite slayer, but she was also a maternal presence in the lives Willow and Xander. When the vampires attacked Sunnydale high school, Joyce was right there to protect her daughter (she went after Spike with an axe).
Buffy’s mom was so not happy when Angel turned into a creepy stalker (after losing his soul and turning back into Angelus), and was even more unhappy to later learn that Buffy had lost her virginity to him. Around this time Joyce becomes increasingly upset with the distance between herself and Buffy. It doesn’t help matters when later police officers visit the house and inform her that Buffy is a murder suspect. But of course, Buffy is cleared of that.
Later Joyce goes to chat with Buffy, who was with Spike, outside of their house. Buffy first tried to convince her mom that she and Spike are in a band (hilarious), but when the three of them are attacked by a vampire, Buffy stakes him in front of her mom before running off to save the world. And so Buffy’s mom finally sees the Slayer in action. Poor Joyce, stunned by what she just saw, demanded that Buffy stop to explain things to her, saying that, “If you walk out of this house right now, don’t even think about coming back.” Buffy, taking her at her word, leaves Sunnydale and spends several months in Los Angeles trying to escape who she is.
While Buffy is gone, Joyce works with Giles and the Scoobies to find her. Eventually Buffy returns and Joyce is more than happy to not only see her, but to learn that Buffy just wants things to go back to normal. So Buffy’s mom tries to support the Slaying, all while encouraging her daughter to think about her future.
As all Buffy fans know, Joyce’s only biological child is Buffy, that is, until fake daughter Dawn came along in season 5. It’s around this time that Joyce’s health deteriorates, and she is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Pressure from the tumor messes up her mind and she goes a little crazy, which is how she learns what Dawn really is. Even though Dawn wasn’t her real daughter, Joyce loved her as if she were.
Sadly, Joyce eventually dies from an aneurysm and it’s poor Buffy who discovered her body lying on their couch. A grief stricken Dawn attempted to magically resurrect her, but she canceled the spell after learning of the dangers it could bring.
Favorite Joyce Quotes!
“I love what you’ve, um, neglected to do with the place.”
Joyce: “I’m, uh, guessing I missed some fun?”
Willow: “The spirit of the first slayer tried to kill us in our dreams.”
Joyce: “Oh, you want some hot chocolate?”
[Buffy reads her mom’s thoughts]
Buffy: “You had sex with Giles? You had *sex* with Giles?”
Joyce: “It was the candy, we were teenagers.”
Buffy: “On the hood of a police car?”
Joyce: “I’ll be downstairs. You feel better.”
Faith: “You are thinking, “You’ll never get away with this!” Warm?”
Joyce: “Actually, I was thinking my daughter is going to kill you soon.”